The South Queensland Sharks have defended the Champion Entity Golden Boot trophy at the 2021 Inferno National Touch League (NTL) held in Coffs Harbour last week. With a slender four point margin between the Sharks and the Sydney Scorpions for the overall title, the Sharks managed to capture six division titles including a competition first feat of claiming the Mixed, Women's and Men's Open divisions at the same event. The Women's 30's, Men's 50's who defended their title and the Men's 60's teams were also victorious.
While six of the Sharks' twelve teams were victorious overall, eleven teams made Semi-Finals, ten teams made Grand-Finals and our All Abilities team had a great time featuring at their second ever NTL event. Every player and staff member is to be commended for their contribution and efforts over the week as they served the region proudly.
Special mention must go to our incredibly hard working medical team A Game Sports Medicine. COVID safety measures meant that games ran later into the night than normal to keep stadium population numbers down, meaning longer matchplay each day. The medical staff and their resources were split between the stadium and the Sharks' accommodation where ice baths were located, days were long and the injury toll was one of the largest that we've seen in many years. Thank you to Morne, Douwe, Tess, Charvon and David for your hard work!
A big thank you to Ryan Pollock and Tristan Mana, the Sharks NTL 2021 Head Coaches. Without their contributions leading up to and during the tournament Sharks would not have had the level of success and harmony within the group that was achieved. Thank you to the Sharks board, technical panel and QTF staff for their support and guidance throughout the campaign also. Thank you to our referees who were fantastic at the tournament and during preparation for the event, specifically the referees who worked so hard during the Sharks training day on February 28. Congratulations to Damien Miller who received his level 5 badge at NTL 2021 and congratulations also to Matt Lavery, Adam Turner, John Viklund and Mark Tewkesbury on earning grand finals this year.
Opens Match Reports
All three matches were tightly contested in the opens divisions, starting with the Mixed Open match between the Hunter Hornets and the Sharks, led by coach John Peeni. This match was a fierce end to end tussle going into an extra time drop off that saw Charlotte Graham dive over in the right hand corner to hand them their second title in three years 7 tries to 6. Player of the Final MVP awards went to Sharks, Tegan Hage and Lachlan Watt.
The Sharks Women’s Open team, coached by Renee Murphy, were looking to maintain the form that saw them blast through the round robin games came up against a young sharp Sydney Scorpions team keen to avenge their round-robin defeat. With the Davis sisters going head to head it took tournament Player of the Series and Grand Final MVP, Hinerangi Andreassend, to scoop into the in-goal finding Danni Davis free to score the match winning try with 90 seconds left in the game. This took the score out to 5-4 putting the Sharks back on top, regaining the title they won in 2019.
With the Sharks Men’s Open team winning their semi-final in extra time against the competition favourites and consecutive Men’s title holders Hunter-Western Hornets, creating a mouth-watering Grand Final match up between two teams that were only separated by one try in the round robin match. The CQ Bulls led by Dave Zanette were kept scoreless in the first half with a score line of 1-0 but the floodgates opened immediately after halftime and with nothing to separate them locked in at 5 tries each at the fulltime hooter the fans had exactly what they wanted with an extra time drop-off. With coach Chris Loth getting the band back together and one of the greatest players to ever play our game sweeping around the ruck, Drumayne Dayberg-Muir jumped over a diving CQ Bulls defender to seal the deal confirming his status as the GOAT, winning the match and locking in a wonderful night for the South Queensland Sharks. Player of the Series awarded to Drumayne Dayberg-Muir with the Player of the Final award going to Peter Norman.
Sharks Team Results:
Men's Open - Champions
Women's Open - Champions
Mixed Open - Champions
Men's 30's - Grand Finalists
Women's 30's - Champions
Senior Mixed - Grand Finalists
Men's 40's - Grand Finalists
Men's 45's - Semi Finalists
Men's 50's - Champions
Men's 55's - Grand Finalists
Men's 60's - Champions
All Abilities - 2 Wins, 2 Losses, 1 Draw, lots of fun!
Click here for the full Inferno NTL 2021 Results and Awards Wrap Up